And Another Thing…

I noticed that an old favourite turned up in the news cycle last week – indeed I suspect it is moving into the market’s general psyche given more people are talking to me about it – and that is peer-to-peer matching, more specifically asset managers seeking to by-pass the banks because the latter are able […]
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Mesirow Adds to Currency Management Team

Mesirow Financial has added two to its staff roster in its currency management unit with the hires of Aaron Wham and Mike Emambakhsh As a senior vice president, senior portfolio manager, Wham will help launch Mesirow’s new Seattle office where he will focus on implementing the team’s investment strategy and portfolio management functions. He joins […]
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CTA Performance Improves as Trends Return to Markets

All of the Societe Generale (SG) CTA indices posted positive performance in March, with trend followers in particular performing well.The SG CTA Index returned 3.4% last month, which means that it’s now up 1.88% for the year, while the SG Trend Index posted returns of 5.46% in March, and so ends the first quarter of 2019 up 2.89%.Attribution data from the SG Trend Indicator suggests that the upward trend in bond markets was the main driver of positive performance in March, contributing 5.95% at the portfolio level. The renewed upward trend in equity indices was another positive contributor, as well as declines in the euro and Canadian dollar compar
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NAB Launches 2019 Superannuation FX Hedging Survey

National Australia Bank (NAB) has launched its biennial 2019 Superannuation FX hedging survey, the ninth such survey that seeks to provide detailed analysis of how Australian super funds manage their currency exposures. Australia has the fourth biggest superannuation pool in the world, as at December 2018 assets stood at AUD 2.7 trillion, of which around AUD 1.8 trillion is institutional money, with the balance being in private self-managed funds. The bank says this is the only survey of its kind in Australia thanks to the level of detail it goes into around how asset owners are managing their currency risk.
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Elwood Offers a New Way to Invest in Digital Assets

Galen Stops takes a look at the new launch from Elwood Asset Management that is targeting institutional investors wanting exposure to digital assets – without holding cryptocurrencies.London-based Elwood Asset Management, which is backed by Brevan Howard co-founder, Alan Howard, has partnered with Invesco to launch its first product aimed at investors looking for exposure to digital assets, the Invesco Elwood Global Blockchain UCITS ETF.The central problem identified by staff at Elwood prior to this launch is that currently there is a distinct lack of ways for institutional investors to gain exposure to digital assets. Right now, these firms can either buy cryptocurrencies – such as bitcoin – or invest in a venture capital fund, both of which can be problematic for institutional investors given the liquidity and regulatory issues surrounding cryptocurrencies and the limitations dictated by firms’ investment mandates
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BarclayHedge Confirms Positive February for CTAs

Data from BarclayHedge confirms previous Profit & Loss reporting that CTAs saw overall positive results in February, with the BarclayHedge CTA Index showing a 0.32% return last month.Five of eight of the CTA sectors tracked in the Barclay CTA indices were in positive territory for February, though the agriculture and currency sectors were a drag on performance.“CTA funds got in step with equity markets in February, and those able to sit out a week-long energy reversal at the beginning of the month were rewarded by month-end,” says Sol Waksman, president of BarclayHedge.
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Hedge Fund Performance Improves – But is it Enough?

Will improved performance from hedge funds in early 2019 help shift the perspectives of prospective allocators to these funds?At the end of last year investors were seemingly nervous about stock market volatility, global economic uncertainty and major commodity price downturns - with hedge fund redemptions reaching $42.3 billion in December, according to data from BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions. This was the largest monthly outflow in five years and represented the fourth straight month of net redemptions.This data comes from the Barclay Fund Flow Indicator, published by BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions, and shows that this was the largest monthly outflow in at least five years, and a fourth consecutive month of straight redemptions. In total, hedge fund outflows in 2018 stood at $89.2 billion, or 3.1% of total industry assets.
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CTAs See Performance Improve in February

The SG CTA Index was up by 0.42%, whilst the SG Trend Index was up by 0.81%. Short term strategies struggled and underperformed other strategies, with the SG STTI down by 1.19% for the month. The SG Trend Indicator attributed February's positive results to gains in currencies and a selection of commodity markets, as well as trends in interest rate markets. Long positions in bond markets reverted slightly, leading to small losses, whilst positions in equity markets began to adapt to the renewed upward trend. "We've seen an uptick of performance in February, and we maintain the benefits CTA strategies can have in diversified portfolios. It will be interesting to observe if CTAs can continue this upward trend as we look towards March and the rest of the year," says Tom Wrobel, director of alternative investments consulting at Societe Generale Prime Services.
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CTAs Stumble Out of the Gate in 2019

Managed futures stumbled out of the gate to start 2019, as the Barclay CTA Index, compiled by BarclayHedge, a division of Backstop Solutions, was down 0.43% for January .All but two of the BarclayHedge’s managed futures indices were in negative territory for January, as CTA funds were generally unable to build on their modest gains of the final two months of 2018.“After precipitous price declines in December, most CTAs found themselves on the wrong side of the street in January as energy and equity prices unexpectedly rose from the ashes of the previous month and rebounded sharply,” says Sol Waksman, president of BarclayHedge.
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Prime Factor Launches Cryptocurrency Fund

Prime Factor Capital (PFC), a cryptoasset investment firm headquartered in London, has launched a cryptocurrency fund.The fund caters to professional and institutional investors such as sophisticated high net-worth individuals, family offices, and private wealth managers, who the firm says are seeking a regulated solution managed by experienced professionals to access the crypto asset class.PFC also announced that it has closed an equity financing round, raising €500,000 for the firm at a valuation of approximately €6 million with Speedinvest, a European fintech investor, and participation from talent investor Entrepreneur First.
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